When skateboarder Nyjah Huston rolls to Tokyo this weekend, he’ll be focused on winning the first ever Olympic medal in skateboarding. When it is launched, it will focus on Salt Lake City.
The first event of the Street League Skateboarding Championship Tour of the 2021 season will take place from August 27th to 28th in a new, permanent street skating park that is being built in the Utah State Fairpark next to the Vans Skatepark. Huston – the six-time and reigning SLS champion – and many other Olympians are expected to compete next Saturday and Sunday after their events are over.
“We expect them all to be there,” said Joe Carr, CEO of SLS parent company Thrill One Sports, to The Salt Lake Tribune. âWe have a nice buffer between this competition and our event. The expectation and timing of everything is such that people will come back from the Olympics and jump straight into the Street League season, which will be great for us. “
The Olympians may not even be the biggest draw for the free event.
Vans announced on Monday that it will host the First Tony Hawk’s Vert Alert competition at the rodeo venue on the fairgrounds in conjunction with the SLS competition as part of a collaboration with the Utah Sports Commission. Tony Hawks Vert Alert is a brand new event focused on vert skateboarding, the big air style that Hawk is famous for. Hawk is expected to take part in a Legends Demo on the evening of August 26th.
“I’m excited to see skateboarding debut at the Tokyo Games with a world-class vert event in Salt Lake City, one of America’s Olympic cities,” Hawk said in a statement. âWe’re going to bring some of the most talented and daring skaters in the world to this free, two-day vert showcase. The crowd will be blown away with our high-flying action. “
At the Olympic Games in Tokyo, medals will be awarded in two skateboarding disciplines. One of them is the street, where participants are recognized for their creativity and difficulty of the tricks as they ride a downtown-reminiscent course, complete with stairs, handrails, ramps and benches. The other is the park, where the square is made up of a series of connected bowls, with a few boxes on the edge and a concrete island in the middle.
Hawk who will be one Skateboard correspondent for NBC during the games, has said that Vert deserves to be inducted into Paris in 2024 when the sport will also be part of the Olympic program. One of the reasons it wasn’t included in Tokyo, in his opinion, is because before that, the X Games was the only major vert competition.
“We just need more quality vert skating competitions,” he said recently recently Inside hook. “We have to invite the best skaters and organize a structured format with elements of the fun chaos that goes along with a best trick event and different categories for the skaters – masters, legends, professionals.”
With that in mind, the SLS Tour’s popularity was seen as one of the main driving forces behind the inclusion of skateboarding in the Olympics. Founded by professional skateboarder and entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek in 2010, it created a path to becoming a professional contest skateboarder. With $ 200,000 in payouts to its champions in its early years, it was instrumental in making Huston the highest-paid skateboarder in history.
In 2018, SLS partnered with World Skate, the official international skateboarding umbrella organization, to approve the Street World Tour and the 2018 and 2019 championships as events that count towards Olympic qualification. These events served, among other things, to classify athletes for selection in the Olympic Games.
The SLS World Tour was canceled in 2020 due to the threat of the coronavirus. The Salt Lake City event is the first of the tour since Huston was crowned champion in 2019. The event will be held in a new, permanent park owned by California Skateparks, which also designs the temporary parks for the SLS Tour.
Some fans and skateboarders will be delighted when the SLS Tour breaks away from the restrictions and pressures that have been placed on the athletes as it plays the role of Olympic qualifier.
“I think a big part of our relaunch is that we’re actually going back to the old-school SLS that fans loved and were passionate about,” said Carr. âAnd we’re bringing back that old allure and the old formats and the most famous skaters and the biggest names and the entertainment value that may have been lost a bit in the last few years as it was more about the process of qualification and less about entertainment and fun. “
Professional skateboarder Dashawn Jordan, who won X Games gold in Street on Saturday, is among those ready to return to their old selves on the tour. The athlete from Chandler, Arizona, is a member of the US national skateboarding team and only just got to Tokyo. He said that although the Street League tour has traditionally used its previous events to filter athletes into their championship – just as Salt Lake City and Miami (Oct. 29-30) are for the final in Jacksonville, Florida (Sept. -November) will qualify. 14) – the SLS tour felt more stifled when the Olympics were at stake.
âThe format was the same. Nothing was too strange. But it was just the fact that, you know, ‘OK, those points are being carried over and it’s a points system now,’ âhe said. “All the other special things in the Street League have been kind of suppressed because they have to obey the rules of the Olympics.”
However, once he arrives in Salt Lake City, Jordan believes he will be able to show his creative and competitive sides. He said he lives off the collaboration between the participants and will be ready to skate with and against Huston.
â’It was like,’ Yo, let’s go! Let’s get it! ‘âHe said of his reaction to the news that the tour is back. “Like finally a contest where it’s just fun with the homies and we skate hard and the environment is great.”
Although entry to both the SLS and Vert Alert events is free, VIP tickets will be on sale from July 26th streetleague.com/tickets.